Many workers who are injured on the job require ongoing treatment, and workers’ compensation insurance is responsible for paying for this treatment. When an employee disagrees with the doctor's recommended treatment, he or she can file a petition with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner (IWCC) to receive alternative medical treatment.
Alternative Medical Care Petition Overview
Employers have the right to choose the medical providers that their injured employees visit for treatment. These doctors are required to work in the best medical interests of their patients, and many injured workers have no problems with their doctors or the treatment they receive.
But disputes do arise in some cases where an injured worker disagrees with the treatment administered or the doctor’s opinion regarding when he or she can return to work. Level of impairment is another often contentious issue.
The first step in any medical dispute is to try to resolve it by speaking with the employer and/or insurance company. If the insurance company hasn't resolved the dispute, the injured employee can file a petition with the IWCC.
Process of Petitioning the IWCC to Approve Alternate Care
The Form 100C – Petition for Alternate Medical Care requires basic information from the claimant, employer, and insurance carrier. It also requires basic information about the injury, such as the time and location of the injury. The claimant will also list a reason for the dissatisfaction with the care provided. An attorney can assist the worker in filling out this form and must include his or her information as well.
After the worker fills out the form to petition for alternate care, a hearing will be scheduled. The parties may choose the hearing to be conducted in-person or via telephone. There is a section on the petition to indicate which is preferred.
Any request for an in-person hearing will be approved unless the in-person hearing would be impractical for one of the parties because of distance. If the hearing is conducted by telephone, the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner will issue a decision within 10 days, or within 14 days if the hearing is conducted in-person.
Do I have other options if I disagree with an impairment rating?
Employees who suffer a permanent injury will receive an impairment rating issued by the doctor. Some injured workers are suspicious of or otherwise disagree with the employer-chosen doctor’s impairment assessment, and may wish to have another doctor provide a rating. In such cases, workers may request an Independent Medical Examination (IME) by filing Form 100A with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. The employer will pay for this IME.
Form 100A requires this basic information:
- contact information for the new physician;
- location of new physician’s offices;
- date of new assessment;
- the same information from the previous physician; and
- the previous physician’s evaluation attached to the petition.
Get Legal Help in Des Moines
The law firm of Walker, Billingsley & Bair helps workers petition for alternative medical treatment if they disagree with their current treatment. Contact our office at 888-435-9886 to set up a free consultation, or contact us online to set up your appointment.